The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Apollo Tyres open to acquisitions

Calcutta, Feb. 4: Apollo Tyres is exploring opportunities beyond Modi Rubber for acquisitions. For the past few months, the company was in discussions with Modi Rubber for acquiring the assets of its tyre-manufacturing unit, said Onkar Singh Kanwar, chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres. He was in the city to take part in the Ficci executive council meeting.

“Talks with Modi Rubber are still on. But a lot needs to be resolved from their end to complete the deal. So I can’t comment on the timeframe for the acquisition. Meanwhile, we are exploring other opportunities,” said Kanwar.

He, however, declined to divulge the names of the “other” companies the tyre major is considering. Asked if the company was interested in taking over Dunlop, he said, “We are interested only if it’s contract manufacturing.”

Commenting on the improved performance of the company in the third quarter of the current fiscal, he said that the trend would continue. The company posted a net profit of Rs 25.47 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2002, which was 326.63 per cent higher compared with a net profit of Rs 5.97 crore for the same period last year. “We expect to close the year at around Rs 2,000 crore. For the next year, we have set a target of crossing Rs 2,500 crore,” Kanwar said.

He feels that the improved performance is a combination of an entire gamut of factors like cost-cuts, changes in the company HR policy and replacement of expensive borrowings by cheaper funds.

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